The vast majority of smartphones come with memory card slots, and Kingston has released a group of accessories to take full advantage of this.
Its Multi-Kit includes a microSD card, a set of adapters, and a USB card reader. This allows you to easily copy large amounts of data onto a tiny memory card, then carry that data around in your smartphone.
The basic components of the multi-kit are extremely straightforward: microSD/SDHC card, in the user’s choice of 2 GB, 4 GB, or 8 GB. Adapters to fit the microSD card into a miniSD or regular size SD slot. As always, any device you want to use the card with, even through one of the adapters, must be SDHC capable. And last but not least, a pocket-sized microSD/SDHC card reader, which is where I’ll start.
“Pocket sized” might be a bit of a misnomer. Even with the slip-off plastic casing included, the whole thing is smaller than the end of my thumb. Granted I’ve got big thumbs, but this thing is tiny.
The only place you might take issue with the build quality on is the cover, which is basic plastic, but this is entirely decorative — it wouldn’t affect the reader if it were smashed and came off completely.
Removing the memory card is a little tricky at first, but after about a day I got the hang of it. Slide, don’t pry. It won’t come out accidentally, though, so you can use the card reader as a convenient keychain drive just by leaving a card in it.
Now, to the technical tests. The 8 GB card happily took up residence in every SDHC enabled device I asked it to. No complaints, no incompatibilities that I experienced.
The Kingston card is rated at Class 4, which in SDHC lingo means that it’s supposed to be capable of a minimum of 4 megabytes per second of write speed. The key word there is “minimum.” In testing hooked up to my laptop, it sustained average write speeds of 12 MBytes per second. That’s about enough to fill the entire card in just over 10 and a half minutes. (Actual times will vary according to number and type of files you’re loading.) Read speed came out to 20.3 MB/second.
Now, before anyone draws conclusions, a word on speed tests. On a mobile device, absent a miracle you won’t see these kinds of speeds. Gadgets like phones don’t have the massive hardware advantage that a laptop PC has — they’re designed to work on a tiny little battery for long periods, not hoover data down a 400 Mbit USB 2.0 link.
That said, mobile phones don’t NEED to move data at 20 MB/second. Even ten percent of that would be more than enough for every usage from video to volume email. But the option is there.
The last component of the package is the adapters. These are standard “straight through” adapters, the same kind that come with most microSD cards: basic plastic to put the pins in the right places. They’ll work with any card, in any device that takes miniSD or regular size SDHC cards.
Yes, it’s just the basic standard adapters and a tiny microSD/SDHC reader. Is there really that much more we want out of a memory kit?
The reader is well made, the card is robust. And with a suggested retail price of $39 I can’t help but reminisce about buying my first really big memory card — also a Kingston, a 4 GB CompactFlash card for $200. And if that didn’t rub enough salt in the wound, the suggested retail for the 2 GB kit is $12.
My old man act aside, I’m hard pressed to find anything not to like about the Kingston Multi-Kit. It’s simple, it’s robust, and it’s reliable.
- Convenient reader
- High speed card
- Available adapters
- No significant downside
A reasonably priced package containing everything you need to work with your new 8 GB memory card.